Centretown resident ‘famous because he wants to be’

Centretown resident Matt Demers is setting out to prove that when it comes to being famous, nowadays it's as easy as just wanting it.

Demers created an alter ego he calls Mr. Hollywood.

Rob Nettleton

Rob Nettleton

Mr. Hollywood creator Matt Demers

His character is a self-professed A-list celebrity, who you'll find roaming the red carpets at the Genie Awards or the Juno Awards calling out to famous faces like Liv Tyler and Ellen Page.

His celebrity interviews and pop culture commentary are what he says he hopes will make his new 30-minute TV show on RogersTV a success.

The show, Mr. Hollywood, was filmed in May, with segments filmed in front of a  live studio audience at the ARC The. Hotel Ottawa. The show features red carpet interviews from many Canadian award shows, as well as comedic monologues.

 "Mr. Hollywood is eccentric, he's outlandish and basically he's celebrity obsessed," says Demers.

The show is kind of a mix of a late night talk show and TMZ, says Demers.

Demers says the idea of the character Mr. Hollywood was more of an evolution, an amplified version of himself that started back in high school while doing the morning announcements.

"At this point, it wasn't a character it was more of a nickname," he says.

This nickname followed Demers throughout his theatre degree at the University of Ottawa. But in 2007, the vision of being famous came to a reality when Demers won the RogersTV reality show special Your Screentest.

Demers won screen time with RogersTV to air a four-show series special, which he called "Nighttime with Mr. Hollywood."

"At that point the character started coming together," says Demers.

Following the success of his special, he said he felt that Mr. Hollywood could be so much more. He teamed up with one of the co-creators of The Tom Green Show, and  "really cranked it up."

He says "98 per cent" of celebrities love his interview style and they walk away laughing and smiling.

"I love seeing them and knowing that we've added to their moment on the red carpet," says Demers.

That wasn't the case for Joshua Jackson though.

Jackson is famous for his role as Pacey on the 90s teen drama Dawson's Creek. In 2010, Jackson was at the Genie Awards held in Ottawa. Demers says that while in his character of Mr. Hollywood, he made a statement making reference to a past real-life relationship Jackson had with Katie Holmes. The two, Holmes and Jackson, also shared on-screen romance through their characters Pacey and Joey.

"I said 'Joshua how do you feel now that Joey is married to Tom Cruise. Pacey must be pissed,' " says Demers.

Demers says Jackson was offended by the statements because of his past real-life relationship with Holmes.

"I was putting it in context of the characters, but of course he dated Katie Holmes in real life and apparently took offense to this," he says.

Consequently, Demers says he struggled trying to get Mr. Hollywood accredited to appear at the red carpet for the 2011 Genie Awards due to a complaint.

"After a little digging," says Demers, "We found out that it came from Joshua Jackson."

"He tried to get Mr. Hollywood blacklisted, which is crazy to me," says Demers.

Mr. Hollywood did get to appear at the Genie Awards, despite the complaint. Footage from his red carpet interviews are what viewers can come to expect from the new show beginning in July.

Demers says that if you watched a show like ETCanada and eTalk, you'll get the inside on celebrity gossip, who's dating who and what not.

"But, if you watch Mr. Hollywood, we'll touch on those things but we'll also make jokes about it. We add in some skits, and that's why it's incorporating that late night talk show feel," he says.

The show has filmed four episodes that will air when the show, Mr. Hollywood, premieres July 4 on RogersTV. If successful, Demers says, the show may be renewed in September.